By the time I put my feet in my shoes Wednesday morning it felt like they were being sawed off. Oh sure, I had my gel insoles. My feet didn’t actually feel tired at all. But my cute little ballet flats were digging into every bone and tendon in my feet. My Achilles were literally torn apart and I had band aids wrapped around anything else that stuck out. Namely everything. The walk to the subway was accompanied by a sound teeth-gnashing as I bit back the pain.
I was headed to Random House for their Power Reader Breakfast and I was swearing the entire way that I was going to stop back in Times Square and buy a pair of flip flops if it killed me. I had to. I valued my feet too much. Lucky for me there was a Strawberries (a kind of Forever 21-ish store) two blocks from the publisher. Glory be the day!
The breakfast was an interesting little meet and greet. I got to chat with some lovely bloggers and have a nice breakfast. The lobby for Random was pretty neat, lined in books they’ve published over the years. By the invitation I was expecting a little more of a tour since it intoned a behind the scenes look at publishing but once you checked in it was up to the breakfast room, eat, chat and then back out. That was fine. I was really too tired for anything else anyway.
They had some of their authors walking around chatting with people and a couple of them got up and pitched their books for a few minutes. Random handed out some bags of books as we were leaving and that was about it. It was a pretty laid back affair, of which I was grateful for since I couldn’t move much anyway.
I walked as quickly as I possibly could hobble over to Strawberries and made the best $6 purchase ever in the history of my existence. I’m not lying when I say it was almost orgasmic to get my feet out of confined shoes and into flip flops. My whole body literally felt better once they were no longer being chewed. So much for my business casual get-up. I had the look from the shins up. That was enough for me at that point.
Then I had to go back to my hotel, check out and drag my suitcase over to Javits before I could check in to the new hotel. Why did I change hotels? Originally I was just going in for the night. After I booked the hotel I found out I was going to an event on Thursday that I really wanted to attend. I tried to tack on another night to the hotel I was already staying at but it would have cost me an additional $500 to do so. Pass. I was able to find a room at an equivalent hotel for the same price down in Chelsea. I was okay with that. While it was far easier being so close to Javits (a whopping four blocks) it wasn’t worth nearly $1,000 for two nights. God I hate New York sometimes.
By the time I got back to Javits I sooooooooo did not want to be there. I was pretty much over it. I’d never gone for more than a day in the past. Add together my tiredness, my soreness and overall fuck it attitude of the people around me and I was done. I just didn’t have anywhere else to go and I was beat so I wasn’t about to wander. I ended up kicking off all but one signing for the day because my back was killing me, my chest felt like it was going to explode (I have a weak muscle there and it literally felt like it was tearing away from the bone) and I just didn’t want to accrue more books than I already had. So I waited.
And FINALLY met up with Nicole from WORD for Teens. It only took us a day and a half to get on the same page and meet up.
She was with her co-blogger and roommate Julia and we just kind of hung out and chatted, mainly around the Penguin area because Julia was desperate for a MG title they were putting out. We ran into Barry Goldblatt, aka Libba Bray’s husband, and chatted him up. Maureen Johnson ambled on by and joined the fray for a bit before we headed out. I had to introduce the ladies to Ellora’s Cave.
While I’m not a romance fan, there’s a certain it factor to all that is Ellora’s Cave. Mainly they give away some great stuff and this year they had the Cavemen.
Muscly mens in tiny shirts. On Tuesday they were signing calendars. Of which I grabbed. The calendars. Nicole got a huge kick out of it since there was some irony there for her. No, she’s not a closest smut reader. Although I may be.
That was where we ran into Cassandra (of Yorgey fame) and she had a total WTF moment when I recognized her but she couldn’t tell me from Adam. Loved it. We talked and then parted ways. We were told there were cookies in the press booth so we went hunting. We missed the game but there was lemonade. Score.
Nicole and I ended up parting ways, I went to my one signing, grabbed my bags again and headed to the taxi queue to get out. I almost had to let loose my baggage on a woman who tried to swoop in on my cab and then had the audacity to look at me funny as I rolled up to it. She actually asked, “Are you taking that?” Yup. Peace. Bitch, you know what a line it? I was in front of you. That’s how this works.
Once I got to hotel number two (again, no bedbugs, hooray!) I had every intention of just wandering down to Books of Wonder to get some bacon products, crossing the street to get some Subway and then being fast asleep by 8. One and two worked out well. I was only seven blocks north of BoW between the same avenues so it was a nice easy walk. I purchased a chocolate peanut butter bacon cookie. It was awesome. I had intentions of going to a restaurant and getting some real food but New York gremlins kept stealing my money and, well, I was TIRED so Subway it was. Having not really eaten much by the way of substance in two days I readily snarfed a packed foot-long and immediately felt like a fat kid in a food coma. I was okay with it.
As I was settling in to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I got twit by Cassandra about coming to Kidlit Drink Night at a bar near Javits. With very little arm-twisting I succumbed and got my drink on. What an awesome woman, truly. And she loves her birdie!
Her parrot not pictured. We drank, we talked, Michael Northrop joined us. We had a lively discussion on the wiles of Connecticut, as Michael knows this pain. It got intense as we discussed the demilitarized zone of Hartford compared to the Stepford qualities of the Gold Coast. Damn richies. Michael left us to pursue his networking requirements and not long after we were joined by Cassandra’s friend Bill, one of the guys behind Unshelved that gave a presentation that day on how to ban a book. Apparently the event got a lot of complaints because people in the publishing industry don’t really read, according to Bill. Blurb reading is rather difficult, if I do say so myself. Too many words. On the plus side I let him know he bears an uncanny resemblance to Simon Pegg for which he bowed to my awesomeness. Really, he was flattered. Really, he looks like Simon Pegg. I figured he got it a lot. Apparently not, I’m assuming because people are unaware of the brilliance that is Simon Pegg. No one better ask me who he is.
The drinking didn’t last long and I was back in my room by 9 and ready, willing and able to sleep. Thursday morning was the Carolrhoda Lab blogger and author breakfast at a nice little dig down in Soho. It was a great, intimate way to just chat with Andrew Karre (the man behind the Lab) and Lindsey Matvick (the promotions guru) along with some of their authors.
From left to right Meagan Spooner, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff and Maggie Stiefvater. No big deal. There were only maybe seven bloggers there so when I say it was a small get together, it was a SMALL get together. And Brenna and Tessa shop at ModCloth. They officially have a new fangirl to deal with. All four of these ladies are wonderful, including the people at Carolrhoda Lab (of which it was totally awesome finally meeting the people I’ve been promoting like Cujo for the last couple of years). I talked with Tessa the most since she was sitting right across from me and she’s just freaking awesome. Seriously. Awesome.
After that it was time for me to come back. Finally. I love New York but every time I go back there it sours on me a little more each time. Since I’m nursing a bruise the size of a golf ball on my arm from a guy’s elbow because I walked a little too close to him on the sidewalk, and just the rush in general, it’s just not me anymore. I prefer San Francisco. New York gets a place in my heart but I don’t have the enduring love for it that I used to.
I made out pretty well overall. I got most of the books I wanted to get plus a couple more. I have more tote bags than I know what to do with and I definitely have some swag that needs giving away.
You can see the full album on the Bites Facebook page where I have a few more pictures and I’ll be doing an Added to the Pile in a bit with the books that I’m actually adding to my pile (not all of those are for me).
Overall it was a good trip and I’m really glad I went. If I attend BEA again it’ll definitely only be for a day. I can’t handle more than that. And I’ll definitely be wearing flip flops the entire time. I say if because I most likely won’t be in the region next year and it looks like BEA is staying at Javits for a while. Sad but I’m okay with it. I can go to the San Diego Comic Con. I’ll manage. Jensen?